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The Truth about Church Websites

I’m not going to lie. I’ve looked at a lot of church websites.

This is due to my having recently considered over a hundred cities in which to move and live. I know, right? A bit much. But it became something of a hobby, cracking open my laptop, firing up Google Maps, along with various church directories, intent on finding a new place to settle down.

Having since rumbled across the country in a moving truck, finally landing Pensacola, the dust has settled. No need for more feverish research. But through the process, I’ve emerged on the other side with a black belt in “What I want to see in a church website.”

By “What I want to see in a church website” I mean pretty much exactly that. When I go to a church website in order to investigate what they’re all about, what attracts me and what doesn’t?

Now the purpose in airing my thoughts isn’t to flaunt some kind of special insight of mine. Not at all. I have no special insight. This is merely a matter of opinion. But they’re opinions fresh out of the oven, and they’re rooted in real desires looking to be met.

So what’s what?

The truth is […]

Thoughts of a Recent Sojourner

I’m a man in a new place.

In many ways it is all quite familiar. There are the usual fast food chains, Walmart, and shopping malls. But in many more ways, it all feels wondrously and overwhelmingly new. Southern hospitality is a real thing, we are living in a treetop condo, and there are palms trees. Everything from the street lights to the cultural tone exhibit subtle (and no so subtle) differences.

It’s definitely not Indiana. And that’s ok. Kinda.

The truth is that I really do like it here in Pensacola. We’ve gained much. But it doesn’t feel like home yet. I suppose that will take time. In the meantime, our family feels like strangers and aliens. Like outsiders. Or better yet, people hanging out at another person’s family reunion. Everyone is welcoming, and they share their food, but we’re still posing as Floridians. We’re not fully a part of it all.

Uncertainty is a thing too. Our steps hesitate. We don’t quite know where we’re going at times. Thankfully there’s something called Google Maps. The “turn left in a quarter mile” voice is surprisingly reassuring.

But amid all the change and flux, it was a sweet blessing to sit in Sunday school and […]

A Long Time Dream Has Come True

Yesterday I received news that my transfer request to Pensacola, Florida was approved. It came in the form of a call from my Postmaster declaring, “You got Pensacola!” Immediately after that conversation, I called my wife and shed tears of joy, crying like a baby in a parking lot off of south 3rd street.

That moment easily ranks as one of the best moments of my life. It’s been a long time dream of this mailman to make it down to Florida.

There were a couple months of extreme disappointment as it looked like any and all transfers would be declined. There was also much waiting and uncertainty. At one point, I was offered a transfer to northern Indianapolis (a very good offer too) and had to make a very quick decision. I pleaded with the Lord to give me some kind of sign that Florida would work out, as that was what I really wanted. I couldn’t see how I could turn down the offer to Indy though. But when I came home and tried to call the Postmaster to accept the position, the phone was busy. Like three times in a row. As I sat waiting, I decided to check […]

3GTing (Part 2)

Another endorsement has just rolled in for 3GT!

The most important commendation I could receive has come from the pen of my wife, Bekah. It is flattering to say the least. And I’m very thankful for it.  But perhaps I should add another wee little touch of truth at the end…

“After twenty years of marriage, my husband still often surprises me with an unusual perspective or unique insight. He shares his opinions with enthusiasm that is contagious. He is also creative, and funny, and transparent. These are some of the reasons why I love him… on the other hand, that quirkiness, passion, sense of humor, and candor also made me a little nervous about what he might say when recording 3GT. But I worried for nothing! Each man brings his own unique personality and perspective. They agree enough to make it encouraging, but disagree enough to make it interesting.

Listening to 3GT reminds me of sitting with good friends at a fellowship meal. What a blessing to have the ability to bring such thought-provoking and godly conversation with me wherever and whenever I want. Many of the stories are about everyday life, and the topics are sometimes pretty […]

Michael Kruger and Tim McGrew (Audio)

The doctrine of Scripture’s self-authentication is a jewel rarely discussed.  The implications run far and wide.  If you haven’t yet considered this truth, or if you would like to hear a clear presentation, check out Michael Kruger’s lecture.  It is worth every minute.

Tim McGrew and Bart Ehrman recently debated issues surrounding the Gospels.  In their first exchange, I think Ehrman got the better of McGrew, unfortunately.  This is due in part to some weaknesses in McGrew’s theological substructure.  Nevertheless, in the second debate, which I am recommending, McGrew exposes a number of Ehrman’s presuppositions while discussing the subject of undesigned coincidences.  I found it to be a fascinating discussion.  You can find it here.






The Place Where Reformed Theology and Life Hang Out and Eat A Burger

Gentle Reformation bloggers, Barry York, Kyle Borg and Austin Brown, are excited to present a new podcast, 3GT. Three Guys Theologizing.

It’s quite simple, really. We want to bring you a show that blends the interesting and humorous with the distinctly theological.

In a word, we want to be substantively entertaining. Well, that’s two words, but you get the idea.

In order to accomplish this feat, a professor, a pastor and a mailman have been thrown together, microphones in hand, ready to talk about everything from the supremely mundane to the uniquely bizarre. Think of us having Calvin’s Institutes open with a baseball cap on or discussing Jonathan Edwards while eating a burger.

This is the place where theology bumps squarely into everyday life.

Just to give you an idea of what we talk about, in the first episode we discussed the horn-like shingle that popped out on one of our foreheads, we told stories of being attacked by frothy mouthed dogs (one was a pit bull!), we explored the joys and terrors of ordination to the pastorate (think examination), and a fair bit of time was spent talking about small town living with an emphasis upon Kyle’s dog, Huckleberry, who has become something of […]

Beware the Me Monster!

We all know a few Me Monsters. And if we’re honest, we’ll do just about anything to avoid getting caught by one at Wal-Mart- even abandon carts or children to slip down a side aisle. Commando crawling isn’t out of the question.

But anyway, I kind of feel bad for Me Monsters. They’re usually nice people. It’s just that they can’t stop talking about some particular point of interest. Forty five minutes later you’re still nodding, standing there, waiting for that small crack of a moment to initiate your departure. But “Oh, wait… I missed it! No! I missed! They’ve turned a corner to a new topic!!!”

I can’t help but think that Me Monsters are ultra lonely or neglected somehow. But then again maybe it’s not that. Maybe it’s just selfishness? But could it really be the case that they simply don’t care about the lives of others?

Surely not. Then again…

A Little Bit of Everything

• Oxford mathematician and Christian apologist, John Lennox, recently gave an encouraging and enjoyable talk on Daniel. He expanded upon the theme of faithfulness, challenging us to, as his title suggests, go against the flow. A Q and A session at the end brings the total listening time to 1:10:20.

• There’s an old saying, “When I went to school, I had to walk uphill… both ways… through four feet of snow!” Well, in the fascinating documentary, On The Way To School, that impossibility nearly becomes reality. Watch as four different groups of kids embark on their (almost) daily trek across harsh but beautiful landscapes to school.

This one can and should be watched with the entire family.

Here’s the trailer.

• The “already-not-yet” nature of justification has been the subject of some interest to me over the years. Tucked away in his massive tome, A New Testament Biblical Theology, G.K. Beale offers a helpful presentation on the imputation of Christ’s righteousness, along with a careful consideration of the eschatological dimensions of justification. You can read more in the chapter entitled, The Inaugurated Latter-Day Justification. That will require you to of course pick up his book, which you can do here.


Rainbow Colored Questions With Replies

You may have noticed a recent article by Kevin DeYoung. It was entitled, “40 Questions for Christians Now Waving Rainbow Flags.”

The questions were both succinct and well-framed. Answering them honestly forces one to grapple with fundamental issues.

Following on the heels of DeYoung’s article, well known advocate of gay marriage, Matthew Vines, posed his own 40 question list. His were likewise meant to catch the unthinking off guard.

Given the colossal import of the subject, Christians ought to answer his questions. See how you would handle them. Discuss it as a family. The times demand it.

As one might very well imagine, a number of different Christians have replied. Two noteworthy responses have come from the pens of James White and Douglas Wilson. They deserve attention.

To stress again, I’d encourage you in particular, fathers, to sit down with your family, discuss the questions, wrestle with the replies and help prepare both yourself and your loved ones for the inevitable, namely, that moment when you will be asked a straightforward question about sexual ethics.